Forget About The SuitFrom The London Chronicle
A retired undertaker lived below me. Some weeks after his wife died he sent me the following. The underlinings are his.
Dear Mr Young, I received your note this morning and I quite understand. I suppose you are troubled just now in a different way from me but still troubled. I can’t type and I can barely write and I am so nervous of being alone.
However I hope to see you at the time arranged.
Don’t mention the suit if you are not interested. For you or one of your friends. I shall understand. My late wife bought it for me as a surprise on my last birthday…I couldn’t wear it. In fact I break down when I look at it. I can’t describe my feelings. I can’t never get over this body blow,
PS: I would sell the suit for fifteen pounds which is giving it away but it will help to pay the funeral account.
Reading this nearly twenty years later I can’t recall what was troubling me. It was probably my making some excuse to avoid him. But I remember my visit to his mausoleum-like flat. I declined to sit down and stood there twiddling my father’s Omega watch. I lost it an hour later somewhere on the Finchley Road. The chain must have broken as I pedalled too hard being late for work. I don’t think I mentioned the suit.